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About Dun and Bradstreet

The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation (NYSE: DNB), headquartered in Short Hills, New Jersey, USA, is among the leading providers of business information. Often called just D&B, it is perhaps best known for its D-U-N-S (Data Universal Numbering System) identifiers assigned to over 100 million global companies. Among its major divisions are Risk Management Solutions, Sales and Marketing Solutions, Supply Management Solutions, and E-Business Solutions.

Principal customers include manufacturers and wholesalers, insurance companies, telcos, banks, and other credit and financial institutions. Revenues in 2005 were $1.443 billion.


D&B's history dates to 1841, when Lewis Tappan (1788-1873) created a commercial credit service.

RG Dun (R.G. Dun Mercantile Agency) was incorporated by Tappan's grandson in 1859 and counted US presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S Grant, Grover Cleveland, and William McKinley among its credit reporters. Subscribership grew from 7,000 in the 1870s to 40,000 in the 1880s. Its reports covered over one million US businesses in 1900. Dun merged with The Bradstreet Companies, a former competitor, in 1933.

Past acquisitions include Moody's (1962, spun off in 2000); Funk and Wagnalls, encyclopedia publisher; AC Nielsen (1984, spun off in 1996); Intercontinental Marketing Services (IMS) (1988, spun off as Cognizant Corporation in 1996); RH Donnelley, directory compiler (1961, spun off in 1998); and Hoover's, Inc., a business information service (2003). Other acquisitions include a number of media interests, largely in the 1980s and 1990s.

An extensive timeline can be found at Dun & Bradstreet: Chronology.

D&B's information systems unit later led to the establishment of a company called Cognizant Technology Solutions(CTSH).

The most popular product of D&B is DNBi, a database that allows subscribers to search out credit-related information on other companies. This is frequently used by companies for the purpose of Risk Management.

D&B has recently established the Predictive Sciences and Analytics Center at Chennai, India.


D&B's D-U-N-S numbers are used to identify businesses around the world. They are required for many US federal government transactions, so are widely used and assigned. They are frequently used in corporate research.

DMI entries provide legal and trade names, physical and mailing addresses, geographical descriptions, product and industry descriptors, sales and number of employees for three years and growth rates, as well as up to 40 vital statistics about each organization

  • Corporate and competitive intelligence
  • Market research
  • Mailing list
  • Trade name research
  • Merger and acquisition analysis
  • Industry statistics
  • Telemarketing lists
  • New product development
  • Corporate family trees


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